PhD in Islamic Studies


The Doctor of Philosophy in Islamic Studies offered by the Sultan Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Centre for Islamic Studies (SOASCIS) is an interdisciplinary doctoral program pertaining to the study of Islam and Muslims. This doctoral program is conducted in the English language although students are expected to gain at least a working proficiency in the Arabic language. The program is also framed by an overarching Islamic worldview, composed of six core modules, to interface the participation of students from a wide range of disciplines into a robust and rigorous course of study, in particular, for researching the application of Islam within various disciplines.

The six modules are:

  • MS6101 Research Methods
  • MS6102 Arabic for Islamic Studies I
  • MS6103 Civilisational History of Islam
  • MS6104 Research Methodology
  • MS6105 Arabic for Islamic Studies 2
  • MS6106 Expository Writing


Full time: 3 – 5 years | Part time: 5 – 7 years

General University Entry Requirements (for PhD)

All applicants must be able to demonstrate:

  • The minimum requirement to undergo a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program is normally a Master’s Degree in a relevant discipline from institutions recognized by the University Senate, unless otherwise stated.
  • Applicants who do not possess a Second Class Honours Degree may be considered, provided they have relevant working experience and possess other academic or professional qualifications deemed appropriate and equivalent for the purpose of admission to the program.
  • Applicants must be able to demonstrate English language proficiency of at least grade C6 in English Language at GCE ‘O’ Level Examinations or a grade ‘B’ in IGCSE English (as a Second Language) or an IELTS score of 6.0 or TOEFL minimum overall score of at least 550, or Band B2 in UBD English Proficiency Test (UBD-EPT).

Specific Entry Requirements (SOASCIS)

  • A relevant, Bachelor’s Degree second upper class (2:1) is expected.
  • A minimum proficiency in English language at IELTS 7.0 or TOEFL 600.
  • A working-level proficiency in Arabic or/and Malay language is an advantage, subject to the field of research.
  • A sound research proposal (3000-5000 words using Chicago Full Note reference style) must contain:
    • Title
    • Abstract
    • Introduction
    • Research problem
    • Research questions, aims, and objectives
    • Methodology (including research method; target population; approval required, and analytical approach)
    • Resources required
    • Contribution to the research area
    • Significance to industry / public sector / society
    • References or bibliography
  • An interview with a panel consisting of faculty members and potential supervisors.
  • Acceptance is subject to the availability of experts as supervisors.

PhD Rules and Regulations

Current students can refer to Student Portal under MyUBD.

PhD Requirements

  • Students are expected to submit an extended proposal within 18 months of registration.
  • Students are to defend their extended proposal in a Qualifying Assessment. Upon a successful defense of their extended proposal, the student’s status will be changed to PhD candidate.
  • PhD candidates are expected to complete and submit their thesis within 36 months of registration.
  • In addition, the candidate must publish one journal paper and one paper submitted and under review as part of the PhD requirement.

How to Apply

Online application is available here:

Coordinator (Graduate Studies and Research)

Dr Nur Amali Aminnuddin